April 20, 2019

Have you been featured by press?

Jonah Grindler @JonahG

Curious what kinds of things to do when reaching out to press sites and writers.

I've never had any press, let alone replies, so curious to hear any examples of when you had someone write about your product/business. What was the email? What kinds of links/assets did you provide? How did you pick the writer?

  1. 4

    I've got an article coming out in a Colorado Springs newspaper next week, I cold emailed a couple journalists pitching it as a "local boy done good" story and they bit.

    News outlets are supposedly hungry for content, so I basically wrote an entire article for them, then had a phone interview with the reporter. Pretty painless.

    The plan from there is to use that article as a source of credibility with other relevant publications, and get them to do their own stories on my app. Fingers crossed.

    But I'd say reach out to publications that have some other reason to write about you. Maybe a college paper from your Alma Mater, or soemthing like that. Anything that can get you a reputable writeup that can be leveraged into other press.

    Actually, fuck it. Let me know what you're working on and where you're from etc. and I'll help you write the email.

    Open offer to anyone, I'll help you get your first article put together along the same lines I got mine

    1. 1

      That’s amazing. I think that’s a great approach, reaching out to more local news outlets. I just sent a couple the other day but no luck yet.

      If you’re willing to help, that would be incredible. I’m just launched an app called Rollie (www.rollie.co), it’s a spending tracker that connects with your bank. I’m based in Victoria BC Canada.

      Feel free to send me an email to chat more: jonahgrindler(at)gmail.com

  2. 2

    I found this book by a TechCrunch team member to be insightful.

    About 3 months after launching a mentor of mind suggested to focus on PR. It seems like NanaGram would be PR worthy. I hammered on it for quite a while and didn't really have much luck. I did use HARO religiously, responding to 2-3 posts per day. I'd have to go back and check but I think the hit rate was like 5%. The best link I got was one from Southern Living Magazine. Around the holidays (NanaGram makes for a great holiday gift that keeps giving all year), I must have contacted 15 local TV stations with zero luck. Granted, I did everything by email when maybe what I needed to do was call.

    At one point I was mentioned in the Boston Globe, but that was because I'd known Scott for 5+ years from my other startup. I'd reached out to him 3-4 months before he wrote this story, just to share with him what I was up to now.

    After a while, I kind of gave up and told myself I'd rather just put all of that time and energy into the customer experience, and if I make it great enough, the press will naturally follow. A couple months later I got an organic email from Mashable and after a short email interview they published an awesome post which helped me grow the service by something like 30% over night (I'd have to go back and check, can't remember the exact number).

    I've also been re-thinking PR in general. I'm focused on building long-term, authentic relationships with journalists who I admire, writing about problems in my space that I'm also passionate about. One of them wrote a book doing a deep dive on how older people live which I tore through. Then I just reached out to him and say thanks.

    In general, I don't really use a template. I hand-write every email, keeping it very conversational and treating journalists just like any other human.

  3. 1

    The easiest way to pitch a story is to:

    1. Have a big story, or alternatively;
    2. Pitch an angle / information resource that's relevant to what's happening in the news right now;
    3. Use PR software, so you can scale this (for example, with the PR software "Meltwater," you can search what reporter's have written about over a specific time period - eg. tech, food, fashion etc) - then, download up to 500 reporter's contact details, create an email, then upload this into Mailshake.

    I'd also recommend trying to develop relationships with bloggers and reporters too.

  4. 1

    i reached out to one discussing new productivity tools and they replied 'the cost to publish is £500 or £800+ to have it promoted on our site.. so i never bothered

    1. 2

      If it's something centered around "productivity" I'd recommend pitching an op-ed piece (ie. a story written by you) to a place like Lifehacker about productivity hacks.

      1. 1

        will check out thank you

Recommended Posts